Kellie’s Castle

Kellie’s Castle is situated near Batu Gajah in Perak. It is about 20 minutes drive from the city of Ipoh, the capital of Perak. The castle is an unfinished mansion that was built by a Scottish planter by the name of William Kellie Smith. The castle was built according to some are either as a gift to his wife or a home for his son.

The Kellie’s Castle was meant to be the center of the wealthy colonial planters and administrators to socialize. The mansion was built with a six storey tower, magnificent columns and even a wine cellar. There was also to be a rooftop courtyard for holding parties and an elevator which was at that time, the first in the country of Malaysia. Though plans were grand and full of luxury, the building was never completed. Construction began in 1915 but came to a halt in December 1926 with the unexpected death of its owner, William Kellie Smith. After the death of Smith, the estate on which the mansion was located was sold and the mansion, too became part of the deal in the selling of the estate.

70 workers mostly from Madras were hired to construct the mansion. The bricks and marble were all brought all the way from India. Unfortunately, during the period of construction, a mysterious illness broke out and caused the death of many of Smith’s employees. Smith was told that he has to build a temple to appease the gods. With that, Smith quickly got his workers to build a Hindu temple nearby. Construction resumed after the temple was done. Unfortunately, the castle was never finished as Smith passed away due to pneumonia during his trip to Lisbon.

Today, the mansion had been rediscovered and is now famously known by the locals and the tourists as the Kellie’s Castle. The mansion still stands tall through the test of time. This symbolizes the pioneering spirit of the early colonialists and the romanticism of a bygone era.

The Gua Tempurung Limestone Caves

Gua Tempurung is situated in Gopeng in the state of Perak. This cave is believed to have existed since early 8,000 B.C. and is the largest natural limestone structure discovered in Malaysia. It is also Perak’s best kept secret. Gua Tempurung is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful white marble and limestone caves discovered.

Gua Tempurung consists of five large domes with ceilings that resemble coconut shells. The makeup of each dome consists of different marble formations due to the differing temperatures and water levels. The beauty of this cave is simply out of this world. Its stalagmites, stalactites and other magnificent rock formations are just spectacular. There are several tours that go into the cave daily. The caves are situated under the limestone hills with tunnels that span about 1.9 kilometers in length.

The wet River Adventure tour at Gua Tempurung is a tour which requires visitors to bring an extra set of clothes as one may be entirely drenched. You can bring your own torchlight and safety helmet but they are also available for rent. Caving here requires no prior experience and is suitable for just about anyone. Other than caving, you can go for white water rafting. Visitors usually go for white water rafting after caving to clean themselves up! At the river, you will be in for some exciting rapids while floating down the clear river in the middle of the forest. This experience is one of the best you can ever have and is a great activity to do with your friends and family.